Air Force Chief and acting Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetilike yesterday told The Island that armaments recovered from a mysterious transport aircraft seized on Saturday (Dec 12) in Thailand were not meant for Sri Lankan forces.
Sri Lanka had nothing to do with the consignment, he said adding that the aircraft may have planned to touch down at the Bandaranaike Internatio-nal Airport for refuelling, if it had escaped detection in Thailand. The flight originated in North Korea.
Intelligence sources told The Island that Sri Lanka had never obtained any of her military needs from North Korea though the LTTE did so for over a decade, using a fleet of ships and trawlers to transfer millions of dollars worth Chinese arms, ammunition and equipment via North Korea. Sources said that Colombo could have been the next port of call, but definitely not the final destination.
Sources said that the LTTE built several airfields in the Vanni east, particularly one in the Lullaitivu district to bring in plane-loads of arms. Sources added that a thorough investigation could establish whether the racketeers involved in the transfer of arms detected by Thailand were in anyway linked to the LTTE arms procurement operation.